CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become an actor.

Step 1

Is becoming an actor right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do actors do?
Career Satisfaction
Are actors happy with their careers?
What are actors like?

Still unsure if becoming an actor is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an actor or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

Step 2

Take Theatre in High School

Taking drama classes and participating in plays and musicals while in high school can introduce a student to performing, various methods of acting, and different approaches to characters.

It also introduces the student to the feeling of performing in front of a live audience, and allows the development of skills and experience.

Step 3

Get More Experience

Look at auditioning for various roles in small playhouses and theatres in your local area (even if it's as one of the extras). It will be added experience and will hone your skills, which is what matters in the long run.

Step 4

Get Some Education

Although a university or college degree is not mandatory to succeed as an actor, education will not only hone skills, but will help aspiring performers understand what happens behind the scenes, such as business dealings and contracts.

Classes may include stage production, theatre history, dance, and music. Theatre arts and acting programs can be found at major public and private colleges in the United States, as well as at most community colleges.

Step 5


Go on auditions and work as much as possible in the acting world. Take acting workshops and get involved with small theatre companies. These types of things keep performers plugged in and provide a great environment where they can be creative and practice their craft. Also, be patient, as it can take years to get a big break.

Step 6

Build a Resume

An aspiring actor needs to act as much as possible, and be in as many roles as possible. He or she needs to build up a resumé filled with performances that may include theatre productions, working as an extra, commercials, music videos or anything else inbetween.

Step 7

Get Yourself an Agent

It’s time to call in the help of an agent when a bit of momentum starts to build. Agents can help actors greatly by offering them their contacts, getting them auditions, and helping them avoid rookie mistakes. Actors wanting to work with the largest theatre or movie companies will need to have an agent.